We’re in the heart of Election Season, chin deep and parsing through the issues, examining each candidate from every angle that they’ll let us see. But for those of us in the sneaker community there’s a whole conversation that we’re not having.
Forrest Gump’s mama always said, “You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes.” We agree. Footwear can reveal the character of a person, what their values are and how they want to be seen in the world. With Election Day quickly approaching (are you registered?), we thought we would get a grasp on what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton lace up everyday. In reality, most days they’re wearing a laced oxford or a sensible heel, but we wondered how that might translate into sneakers—and we have our own thoughts on the matter.
So here are imagined current sneaker rotations for both major party candidates based on their personas, as well as some we think could help with their messaging.
These sneaker rotations are in no way a balanced journalistic report, nor are they intended to reflect the truth of what the candidates wear on the daily. Although the sneakers they wear may be similar to what we have listed here, we honestly have no idea and that would be a pretty dope coincidence. But this is purely speculative.
I'm With Air
Clinton: Nike Women's Air Max 1 Vach Tech Vachetta Tan/Pink
Trump has accused Hillary Clinton of playing “the Woman Card”—a polite-ish request for Hillary to hide the fact that she’s a woman and cares about women’s issues. Although Hillary should just go be herself, womanhood and all, there are some voters that count her femininity as a point against her. We’re not saying they’re right, but a little less pink might help to show who is really the unpredictable, emotional sissy in this election.
Trump: Adidas x Jeremy Scott Roundhouse
Technically, when Jeremy Scott designed this sneaker for Adidas he didn’t mean for it to be racist. He was making a comment on how kids get sneakers stolen off their feet and wanted to give them an option to keep their pairs from getting away. It wasn’t meant as a reference to slavery. Trump has his own issues regarding sloppy wording and bungled comments. It’s been a problem regardless of the intent—dog whistle or miscommunication—and everyone’s ready for it to be over.
Foamed Up, Trickle Down
Clinton: New Balance 998 "Made in the USA"
The Clintons aren’t in the habit of hocking products like Trump is, but if she wants to underline one of Trump’s greatest weaknesses she should wear something that’s made on U.S. soil. Until Adidas’ Atlanta Speed Factory is up and running the best option is a pair of New Balances, and the 998 is the best model they’ve got. Plus, they’re super comfortable and supportive so if she’s feeling uneasy on her feet she’ll be able to find that needed relief.
Trump: Nike Air Foamposite One "Tianjin"
Trump's biggest problem is the contrast between what he says and what he does. He obviously doesn't like China from a policy point of view but he's obsessed with the country on a personal level. He should be transparent and wear that love on his feet. Plus these shoes are incredibly expensive on the resale market, and you know he loves throwing money around after saving it on his tax bill.
Make Americanas Great Again
Clinton: Nike Air Force 1 "Fantastic 4 Invisible Woman"
Even Clinton diehards have to admit that Hillary has a problem with transparency. She’s late to disclose problems, keeping even her pneumonia from most of her closest staff, and that’s caused her real issues. If she makes it to the White House, there’s no reason for us to believe she’ll behave any differently, so she should signal that she's ready to make changes. These clear Forces will prove she’s got nothing to hide (and offer the opportunity to throw on a pair of graphic socks and make it more fun).
Trump: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star "Americana"
There’s nothing like performed patriotism to whip up a crowd in Arizona (the safe Republican state that Trump spent a lot of time in), or anywhere else deeply conservative. Few sneakers as stereotypically Americana as Chuck Taylor All Stars, and even though they stopped being made in the U.S. in 2001, that doesn’t mean these aren’t the perfect sneakers to impress Trumpeters that count flag pins as a proxy for patriotism. Slap an American Flag print on them and it’s the perfect pair.
Locker Room Talk 2s
Clinton: Nike Lunar Force 1 "BHM" 2013
We get it girl, you’re down with the Black Community! Don’t get us wrong, there are severe racial issues in our country and although Hillary has a lot to make up for (“super predators,” her husband’s 1994 Crime Bill), most voters of color agree that she would be a better ally than Trump. Other than her missteps in the ’90s, her record is well founded. But even if some of her most vociferous expression is authentic, it feels a bit forced. She could tone it down a smidge.
Trump: Under Armour Curry 2 "Chef Curry"
What Trump needs to prove above anything is, despite the fact that he leaves behind mountains of debt and unpaid bills and doesn’t pay taxes, he's still one of us! There's nothing like the modern dad shoe to help him do it. Plus, they're made overseas just like all of his own products! Add to that the fact that he's obese and would be the oldest inaugurated president in American history—he could really use the arch support.
Basket of Retros
Clinton: Yeezy 350 V2 "Beluga"
These shoes are neither the best nor the most elegant sneaker ever made. They’re not even one of the top Yeezys ever made. But people like them even if you don’t understand, and you probably tried to get them anyway. Similar to this election, you know they're not the greatest, but when presented with grabbing these or getting a bucket of dog shit, you'll choose these.
Trump: Air Jordan 3 "Legends of Summer"
Sometimes a dude just has to stunt in his politically affiliated colors. So at the very least he should be laced in something truly dope. We’re going to pick the Legends of Summer Jordan 3s that were made famous by the 2013 Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake tour. A tiny amount of these sneakers were made so even if you can find them, they’ll be a pretty penny. These have all the class and status of a glitzier shoe but bring with them respectability and the appropriately “yuge” price tag. (Plus they were cosigned by a white person—an obvious requirement for the Don.)